Is your company trying to reach other (maybe even larger) markets or businesses? Do you want to grow your B2B business, but you’re unsure of where to start? You have a decent online website that can attract more prospects or you want to build one because you know a large percentage of consumers’ first stop in researching a product or service today is online. You’ve heard of “Search Engine Optimization (SEO)” and that it “increases B2B companies’ exposure and brand awareness”, but you’re not exactly sure how to incorporate or even approach the whole thing? Or as the cartoon above points out tongue-in-cheek, maybe your organization already assumes that SEO is dead and not necessary. Here is why that’s not the case and you need to know how to fix it if you sell to other businesses.
More than 70% of B2B buyers conduct over half their research online before making an offline purchase.*
SEO is without a doubt important for your B2B business so your customers can find you online. But there is an overwhelming amount of information out there about how to use SEO and it’s hard to know WHERE TO BEGIN. Don’t worry, we have consolidated the most important key concepts to remember when optimizing your B2B SEO in this post. Just read on to finally see good results from your SEO – because this time, you’re doing it correctly.
1. Developing Your Buyer’s Persona: Who is your prospect? And why this is the KEY to success.
When it comes to boosting your B2B SEO, you must know who your target customer is. It comes down to old-fashiond market research. If you have a clear picture of who you’re targeting for your products and services, you can incorporate any helpful knowledge of their demographics and interests into your keyword research (a critical component of SEO that helps build a roadmap for not only your website, but also your content that attracts visitors and buyers). This, in turn, will allow you to write content that helps your buyer understand how you will solve their problems and needs.
Do you see how this is important yet?
KYC. Know Your Customers. That means, do your research. Who are they? What is the ideal buyer persona and what are her or his educational background, gender, age, interests? What is their role, job responsibilities, goals, potential challenges that prohibit them from reaching this goal? The list goes on, and the more detail you understand, the better.
Once you have a clear understanding of who you want to target with your marketing, you are off to a better start than your competitors. This is a marketing best practice that should always be applied. Once you know who they are, you can start building your website’s keyword list to target. If you need help with the process of developing your buyer’s persona, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
2. Why Should You Care About Using Persona to Build The Right Keyword List?
Against the saying, “All [markets] are created equal”, B2B SEO can be much more challenging to do than B2C SEO. Why? Keep reading. First and foremost, the buying cycle for a B2B company is different, often much longer and much more complex. This complexity can sometimes influence the way buyers search for your product and service online. So how do you produce the most attractive website content and use that to convert visitors into buyers?
Remember we talked about the buyer persona above? You can use that to build a keyword list that matches a users intent when they search. What is “user intent“? By understanding who the user is, you can figure out the terms they will search for that are relevant to your products or services. Then you can translate the terms or questions they search for into producing relevant content on your site that they will care about.
Here is an example: User googles “best solar mounting solutions”. That means “I have some kind of system that needs to be mounted on a roof and I need a trustworthy product.”
Here is another example: User googles “best commercial solar mounting solutions”. That means “I have many commercial systems that needs to be mounted on roofs and I need a trustworthy manufacturer.”
It is important to understand that these are different searches and the intent of the person typing in those searches changes with just a single word.
This is especially important because search volumes may be lower for some B2B keywords. But that’s okay because the traffic coming from these searches to your business and website will bring you much more qualified leads. And pay close attention to the ratio of the volume of traffic to qualified leads. You might notice that although a specific keyword brings in a small amount of traffic, a high percentage of that traffic converts into buyers. That means those keywords are highly effective because you did your research! Remember: Quality trumps quantity.
Putting your website URL into tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer can help to generate keywords or phrases that appear often in your marketing, content, or what is commonly “clicked” on by visitors of your page. This can be a great way to narrow down on what is the best keywords to use. Look for keywords that have a low to medium level of difficulty that have the right volume of monthly searches. This helps to offer ideas for variations of the keywords that are actually being conducted in real searches.
Here are some resources to help you find your B2B keywords:
- Google’s autofill and suggestions functions
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool (now part of Google AdWords)
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer Tool
3. Yes, backlinks matter. Externally and Internally.
Why do backlinks matter to your B2B SEO? Because high-quality backlinks increase your domain authority and can also increase your rank on Google searches. First, what is a backlink? Backlinks, in general, are links from other websites that are linking back towards your site. Often times when you hover over a word or phrase on a site, the color or format changes. This is a clickable hyperlink that brings you to another part of the site or a different site altogether.
Build a network of external sites. Make sure you have plenty of websites with authority referencing and linking back to your website. This will increase your website’s SEO and your brand’s trustworthiness. Word to the wise: links from industry journals back to your website are the best because their page generates high traffic volume and high search engine ranking score. Connecting with a top online presence in a particular topic shows that you’re an important player in the field as well.
Build a network within your website by linking internally to other content pages of your site. This directs readers to other important content on your website that will offer them more insight and increase the time they spend on your site, which will up your SEO.
Here is an example of how this works with B2B SEO:
Bill works for a commercial solar panel installation company and needs certain parts for the installation. Bill conducts a search on Google, “local solar panel installation parts” and comes across your business, a manufacturing company for solar panels. In this instance, if you have related pages of your website you should link to them so that you keep the visitor engaged with your content. The more engaged they are, the more likely they will contact you for a quote, download your product catalog, or call you for more information.
Get Started With Your B2B SEO
In order to effectively utilize SEO to fill your sales funnel with better quality B2B clients, remember to apply these three strategies:
1). Know your customers.
2). Use that knowledge to translate the user intent and build an impactful keyword list and content.
3). Build your website’s network – externally and internally – via backlinks.
Take what you learned today and get started on your SEO journey. Please leave a comment and let us know how your B2B SEO has improved after reading this.
For more information about SEO for B2B companies and how it can help you, or to see if our services can help you see the business growth results you’ve been hoping to see, contact us.